Legislative and Regulatory Update
April 2019 by Scott Harn
• Bishop and Curtis seek to rein in Antiquities Act abuses
Congressmen Rob Bishop (R-UT) and John Curtis (R-UT) introduced HR 1664, a bill that would set limits on the use of the Antiquities Act to create national monuments.
The bill would require review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a proposed monument between 640 acres and 10,000 acres. An environmental assessment would also be required for proposed monuments between 5,000 and 10,000 acres. Congressional approval would be required for larger proposed monuments.
It’s unclear whether this bill has the necessary support to pass in the House.
• Lands bill signed by President Trump
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) made a valiant attempt to stop S 47, a huge public lands bill that included permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), but his effort ultimately failed and the bill passed.
Senator Lee had introduced an amendment to remove the permanent funding, but both Democrats and Republicans joined forces to shoot down his amendment. The reason we—and miners in general—were against the bill is because LWCF funds are used to place additional public lands off-limits regardless of whether or not a mineral survey has been completed.
Senator Lee is all too familar with federal land grabs in Utah; he fought to have the size of national monuments reduced in his state when former President Obama used the Antiquities Act to expand them against the wishes of local legislators.
President Trump really did not have a choice but to sign it after it passed with a veto-proof majority. The bill passed the Senate 92-8, with the following Senators voting against it: Cruz (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Johnson (R-WI), Landford (R-OK), Lee (R-UT), Paul (R-KY), Sasse (R-NE), Toomey (R-PA). A House version passed 363-62.
More than 100 gold prospectors gathered at Azusa Canyon in the recently declared San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in southern California to voice their concerns…
Mr. Hughes was obviously shaken by our interaction and we are quite confident he assumed we were all missing teeth, long-haired, uneducated, backwoods miners who would immediately become submissive. That didn’t happen...
Bottom line for you fellow miners: file your claims now in these areas or risk being forever locked out!
Present conflicts and realizations having to do with dependence on China have illuminated the fact that suction dredge miners have a vital role to play and are an ignored and untapped domestic resource—until now.
• California suction dredgers had better prepare for battle
We spent our evening at some informal get-togethers at two private residences in the DC area, which provided the opportunity to talk with staff members from Congress, other agencies, and a few consultants working on public land issues. We found common ground with many of them, and found a strong ally in a former Congressman turned consultant who agreed that Mining Districts provide the smartest legal route...
• SB 637
• Public land users cry "fowl"
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • Ask The Experts - Is there a Forest Service camping limit for mining claims? • Ask The Experts - Should I be focusing on uranium and thorium? • Ask The Experts - What is this sample worth? • Ask The Experts - Need help finding production records • How To File A Mining Claim • Back to Basics--Finding Gold With a Pan and a Sluice • Persistence Leads to Over a Pound of Gold • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: The Superbowl Nugget • Revisiting The Old Mini Patch • Preserving the True History of the Ivanhoe • Carr Fire Gold • Secrets of Successful Prospecting • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices